Panthers control ball for 40 minutes in setback
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The Framingham State University football team received three turnovers from their defense which the offense converted into 14 points as the Rams defeated Plymouth State University 34-3 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action Saturday afternoon at Framingham's Bowditch Field.
With the win, the Rams remain atop the MASCAC standings at 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, while the Panthers slip to 2-5 on the year and now 1-4 in the MASCAC.
Senior linebacker Greg Peschel (Taunton, Mass.) paced the defense with seven tackles, all solo, to go along with a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown and an interception. Junior Jaleel Wingard (Everett, Mass.) chipped in with six tackles and a forced fumble, while sophomore Campbell Marchant (Longmeadow, Mass.) also recorded six. Senior Gabe Calmon (Boston, Mass.) picked up a pair of sacks including a sack-forced fumble that led to another Ram score.
Senior Matt Silva (Dracut, Mass.) completed 21 of 35 attempts for 350 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Senior wide out Marcus Grant (Carver, Mass.) made seven catches for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while classmate Jared Gauthier (Dracut, Mass.) had two receptions for 110 yards and accounted for the Rams other touchdown.
Freshman Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) completed 13 of 21 for 133 yards with an interception for the Panthers. Sophomore Joe Ceraldi (Cranston, RI) led the ground game with 36 yards rushing on nine attempts.
The first quarter finished scoreless after the Rams fumbled on the opening possession of the game and then stopped the Panthers on a 4th and goal from the one on a drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock. The Rams turned the ball over on downs after a bad snap on a punt forced the punter to put his knee down to field the snap. Peschel intercepted Edwards with seven seconds left in the frame essentially ending the quarter with no score.
The Rams took the lead for good in the second quarter as Silva capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a five yard touchdown toss to Grant in the corner of the end zone. Senior Sean Wlasuk (Peabody, Mass.) converted the extra point and the Rams led 7-0.
Plymouth State got on the board with a 10-play, 81-yard drive at the end of the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 25-yard gain by freshman Mitch Banuskevich (Milford, NH) on a reverse and a 27 yard completion down the sideline from Edwards to Banuskevich setting up a first and goal from the nine. The Rams defense came up with three stops and on fourth and goal freshman Jeff Madden (Wolfeboro, NH) knocked through a 22 yard field goal.
The Rams tacked on three more before the half on a 42 yard Wlasuk field goal as time expired.
Junior Jalen Green (Brockton, Mass.), who rushed for 50 yards in the game, plunged in from a yard out with 4:03 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 17-3.
The Rams offense would tack on 17 in the final quarter to reach the final margin. Silva and Grant would connect on an eight yard fade in the end zone in the opening minute of the fourth. Calmon's sack-fumble would set up a 27 yard touchdown pass down the sideline from Silva to Guathier with just over 12 remaining. Wlasuk would cap the scoring with his second field goal of the day, this one from 27 yards out with 6:46 left.
Despite possessing the ball for just under 20 minutes compared to just over 40 minutes for the Panthers, the Rams accumulated 417 yards of offense, including 350 through the air, to just 250 for the Panthers.
The Panther defense was led by five solo stops and a fumble recover from Brady LaFrance (West Paris, ME), while Zack Williams recorded five including one for a loss.
The Rams are back in action next Saturday when they host Mass. Maritime at 12 p.m. on Senior Day, while the Panthers host Worcester State next Saturday at 1 p.m. on their Senior Day.
(Courtesy of Framingham State Sports Information)
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